Congratulations this week to all the students who received their GCSE and A-level results after an unprecedently difficult period during the pandemic.
The last 18 months have meant missed lessons, remote learning and time lost with friends in the classroom, so it’s a testament to the hard work of students across Garston and Halewood that they’ve received the grades they have. For those who may have been disappointed it’s important to remember that your grades now don’t have to define the rest of your life.
It’s important to remember, though, that students in less privileged areas have once more received lower grades than their more affluent peers. Data released by Ofqual – the Government’s exams regulator – this week, shows that children on free school meals were less than half as likely to get a Grade 7 (A) or above in their GCSE results today.
Just under 14 per cent of grades for students on free school meals were Level 7 or above compared with over 31 per cent among their peers, making those eligible for free school meals 57 per cent less likely to achieve a top grade.
Private schools have again far outstripped their state counterparts with 62 per cent of private school grades being Level 7 or above, compared to 26 per cent for secondary moderns, a gap which has increased by nearly a fifth over the last four years.
Students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have also seen a widening attainment gap, with students with SEND seeing fewer than 10 per cent of their grades at top Level 7 and just over half (51 per cent) of grades at Level 4 or above compared to 83 per cent among their peers.
This Conservative government needs to do more to support children from less affluent backgrounds, because far from levelling up this is actually widening the gap year on year. Opportunity shouldn’t be dictated by postcode or location, or how well your parents are doing.
These grades have largely been made possible by the hard work and dedication of our teaching and support staff who have gone above and beyond to make sure their students did well in difficult circumstances. Thanks to all of them for the work they’ve put in.